Main content area

Variations in cadmium and nitrate co-accumulation among water spinach genotypes and implications for screening safe genotypes for human consumption

Tang, Lin, Luo, Wei-jun, He, Zhen-li, Gurajala, Hanumanth Kumar, Hamid, Yasir, Khan, Kiran Yasmin, Yang, Xiao-e
Journal of Zhejiang University 2018 v.19 no.2 pp. 147-158
Ipomoea aquatica, aerial parts, breeding, cadmium, cost effectiveness, fertilizer rates, fruits, genotype, heavy metals, human nutrition, humans, lead, nitrates, phosphorus fertilizers, risk, screening, soil, vegetables, zinc
Vegetables are important constituents of the human diet. Heavy metals and nitrate are among the major contaminants of vegetables. Consumption of vegetables and fruits with accumulated heavy metals and nitrate has the potential to damage different body organs leading to unwanted effects. Breeding vegetables with low heavy metal and nitrate contaminants is a cost-effective approach. We investigated 38 water spinach genotypes for low Cd and nitrate co-accumulation. Four genotypes, i.e. JXDY, GZQL, XGDB, and B888, were found to have low co-accumulation of Cd (<0.71 mg/kg dry weight) and nitrate (<3100 mg/kg fresh weight) in the edible parts when grown in soils with moderate contamination of both Cd (1.10 mg/kg) and nitrate (235.2 mg/kg). These genotypes should be appropriate with minimized risk to humans who consume them. The Cd levels in the edible parts of water spinach were positively correlated with the concentration of Pb or Zn, but Cd, Pb, or Zn was negatively correlated with P concentration. These results indicate that these three heavy metals may be absorbed into the plant in similar proportions or in combination, minimizing the influx to aerial parts. Increasing P fertilizer application rates appears to prevent heavy metal and nitrate translocation to shoot tissues and the edible parts of water spinach on co-contaminated soils.